Mexico: Fury over president’s meeting with Trump
Mexico is humiliated, said Raúl Rodríguez Cortés in El Universal. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for U.S. president and a man who has smeared Mexican immigrants as rapists, criminals, and drug dealers, visited our capital last week as a personal guest of President Enrique Peña Nieto. During a joint press conference with our president, Trump did not offer a single word of apology for his anti-Mexican insults, “the minimum required from this incomprehensible, unworthy, and useless” visit. Only when the trip was over did Peña Nieto stand up for Mexico’s honor. Trump told the American media that the subject of his planned wall along the southern U.S. border didn’t come up during the meeting, leading Peña Nieto to write on social media that he had explicitly informed Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall. Then Trump, speaking in Phoenix, shouted that Mexicans will pay for the wall even though they don’t know it yet. So there we have it: Without getting anything in return, Peña Nieto “gave the gringo psychopath a meeting and a photo op,” legitimizing him as a statesman.
It’s not just Mexicans who are agog at Peña Nieto’s “gigantic stupidity,” said Jesús Silva-Herzog Márquez in Reforma. The whole world is wondering, “What the hell was he thinking in lending the presidential palace to boost the campaign of the country’s worst enemy?” Our president actually excused Trump’s inexcusable racism as a “misunderstanding” that “pained Mexicans”— as if “the problem were our sensitivity.” Never mind that Peña Nieto probably did not mean to betray Mexico: His behavior “was treasonous.” I know how serious that charge is, but it fits. “The biggest threat that Mexico has faced in decades found a willing tool in Enrique Peña Nieto.”
Trump’s visit “has caused an unprecedented public clamor against the president,” said Héctor Aguilar Camin in Milenío. Peña Nieto’s approval rating, already below 20 percent because of surging corruption and crime, could sink into single digits, “plunging his presidency into uncertainty.” Mexicans have started hoisting the flag upside down in public squares, a sign of repudiation of the government. Some are “calling for a march to demand Peña Nieto’s resignation.” I can’t remember a time of such “virulence against the president,” nor of such a “resurgence of Mexican nationalism and anti-gringo pride.”
Yet aren’t we being a bit hypocritical? said Carlos Heredia Zubieta in El Universal. It’s easy to slam Peña Nieto for failing to stand up for undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. But have we ever done anything for them? Trump plans to expel poor Mexicans, but “we expelled them first” with our violent crime, measly wages, political corruption, and lack of social mobility. It’s time to reach out to Mexicans in America, to invite their children and grandchildren here, to take advantage of their knowledge of English. “Trump wants to erect more barriers between our two countries.” We need to “break them down.”